The author and cook, Heather

Old-Fashioned Cornbread

Whole Hog BBQ

Here's my controversial opinion: this is my favorite type of cornbread. It is (mostly) unleavened, dense, not sweet at all, and very simple to make. It's a lot like the corn pone from Deep Run Roots (, though this one thankfully skips the "flip it over" step.

It is cooked in a pool of pork fat (lard or bacon grease; at the restaurant they use the fat drippings collected from the whole hog cooking over coals) and the best parts are the crispy edges. I have never made them myself, but I think that my favorite corn sticks are probably similar to this but maaaaybe with some leavening added. They certainly aren't fluffy, but they're almost all crispy edges. Yum.

You do need to eat this pretty soon after it comes out of the oven, but my husband found it could be "refreshed" a bit in the microwave the next morning. He said it was even better with some butter on top.

I found the full recipe here:

Serving Sizeserves 12
Carbohydrates25g (2g fiber)


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with Heather today we're going to be
[00:08]: working once again from Whole Hog bbq by
[00:11]: Sam Jones I think there's another author
[00:14]: as well I'm very sorry I will include it
[00:16]: uh in the tags but I don't remember what
[00:19]: it is and I don't have to take it out of
[00:20]: the thing right now anyway
[00:23]: um
[00:23]: we are going to be making old fashioned
[00:26]: cornbread so this is not fluffy sweet
[00:29]: cornbread this is much more like the
[00:33]: corn pone I think
[00:35]: is what it was called that I made from
[00:37]: Deep Run Roots I'll link that up here
[00:40]: um it is there's like not much if any
[00:44]: leaveners in this it's going to be very
[00:46]: dense
[00:48]: cornmeal
[00:51]: dough and you need to eat this very soon
[00:56]: after it's baked so we're gonna have to
[00:58]: uh we're gonna eat this tomorrow
[01:01]: and and so I'm not making it today but I
[01:04]: am going to mix up the dry ingredients
[01:06]: and we will show you what we do after
[01:10]: that tomorrow
[01:12]: because
[01:14]: we're going to be having it at someone
[01:15]: else's house and so we're gonna have to
[01:17]: bake it there because that's just how
[01:18]: this is
[01:20]: um
[01:21]: so it starts with just plain
[01:24]: white cornmeal
[01:28]: which is what I have here
[01:30]: and I've already measured that here and
[01:33]: then we add a little bit of hush puppy
[01:35]: mix
[01:36]: um he says that they use
[01:39]: this Moss light and sweet hush puppy mix
[01:42]: with onion mine does not have onion
[01:44]: because my family doesn't like it with
[01:46]: onion when I make hush puppies or
[01:48]: anything like that so I just don't
[01:51]: so I'm going to measure that here
[01:56]: good enough
[01:58]: I wasn't super precise with that but
[02:00]: it'll be fine and then some salt
[02:06]: I'm gonna kind of heat mine up a little
[02:08]: bit because my salt is
[02:11]: diamond crystal kosher salt which is a
[02:13]: little bit less salty than most table
[02:14]: salt so I'm just not too worried about
[02:17]: that being too salty and I'm just going
[02:19]: to mix this together with a fork because
[02:21]: my uh
[02:24]: whisks are all
[02:26]: currently dirty in the washing in the
[02:29]: dishwasher or in the sink
[02:31]: so I thought I would just mix it up with
[02:34]: a fork
[02:35]: now
[02:37]: what we're going to do tomorrow is
[02:41]: now he says to melt
[02:43]: um
[02:45]: lard in a pan and in a on the stove and
[02:48]: then put it in your baking dish and then
[02:50]: pour
[02:53]: uh this the batter that you make out of
[02:55]: this all you add to this is water there
[02:57]: is a measurement but what heat you're
[02:59]: looking for is a thin pancake batter
[03:03]: so you can add more water if necessary
[03:06]: he says and so that's you know we'll be
[03:08]: I'll be measuring it but we'll see how
[03:10]: much I need because we are going to go
[03:12]: for sort of a thin pancake batter
[03:14]: um
[03:15]: and then you
[03:18]: put your melted lard
[03:21]: in the a nine by 13 inch pan and
[03:27]: then you pour this in you don't remove
[03:29]: any you just kind of make sure it covers
[03:31]: everything and then you put this in so
[03:32]: it it'll
[03:34]: come up around the edges and it'll he
[03:36]: says it'll look wrong but it's fine
[03:38]: that's exactly what it's the goal is and
[03:41]: we're going to bake it at 400 degrees
[03:44]: for 35 minutes I'm going to just melt
[03:48]: the lard in the pan in the oven because
[03:51]: that's just so much easier and it only
[03:53]: uses one pan it'll be fine
[03:55]: um but so yeah that's that's what we're
[03:56]: doing and and then we just have to bake
[03:58]: it so
[03:59]: we will show you what we can of that
[04:02]: tomorrow I'm just going to put this in a
[04:04]: zip top bag and all I'll have to do is
[04:07]: add water tomorrow
[04:09]: and it'll be all ready
[04:11]: so
[04:12]: we will show you what we can of that and
[04:15]: then let you know what we think in just
[04:17]: a minute okay my lard is melted oven set
[04:20]: to 400 and
[04:23]: I'm gonna pour in our
[04:27]: cornbread batter
[04:34]: that's about right
[04:37]: it looked thinner before
[04:40]: now we're going to bake it for about 35
[04:43]: minutes
[04:47]: [Music]
[04:51]: on this episode of cooking the books
[04:53]: with Heather you watched me make
[04:54]: old-fashioned cornbread from Sam Jones's
[04:57]: book Whole Hog Barbecue
[04:60]: and this is probably some of the easiest
[05:03]: cornbread you can make because there are
[05:05]: no leaveners in it besides a very small
[05:08]: amount that is in the hush puppy mix you
[05:11]: use
[05:12]: um
[05:13]: but you use so little of that it doesn't
[05:15]: rise at all really but that's expected
[05:17]: that is what this is supposed to be
[05:21]: um
[05:22]: there is a lot of lard or bacon grease
[05:25]: if you don't have access to good lard
[05:27]: you can use bacon grease
[05:29]: such that it seems wrong he
[05:32]: talks about that it might look wrong but
[05:36]: that is the goal
[05:38]: um
[05:38]: and strangely even though
[05:42]: there was that much lard in it and mine
[05:46]: was melted all on the bottom of my
[05:49]: baking
[05:51]: container baking
[05:53]: tray pan
[05:56]: 9x13 pan
[05:58]: it's still stuck like it was it stuck to
[06:01]: the bottom pretty badly the sides not so
[06:04]: much but the bottom pretty badly so
[06:07]: I don't know why that happened but this
[06:10]: was
[06:11]: exactly my idea of this kind of
[06:14]: cornbread which I actually like I like
[06:16]: both kinds in fact I like all kinds of
[06:19]: cornbread honestly
[06:21]: um but I like this in particular more
[06:24]: than a lot of people it's kind of an
[06:26]: acquired taste
[06:28]: um the edges are the best part because
[06:30]: those are almost like fried because of
[06:32]: all of the the bacon grease
[06:35]: and um
[06:38]: my favorite way to have this sort of
[06:41]: cornbread is in what they call Corn
[06:43]: sticks so you bake it in it's usually a
[06:47]: cast iron molded Pan
[06:51]: um
[06:52]: so very hot and in sort of long stick
[06:56]: form right so they're about that big
[06:58]: around and usually about that long
[07:01]: that's my favorite way because it's
[07:03]: mostly edges edges are the best part
[07:07]: um
[07:08]: with this you want to eat this pretty
[07:11]: quickly like he said
[07:15]: um
[07:16]: immediately or within the hour is best
[07:20]: we did not it did not taste too bad
[07:23]: later it did not get super
[07:26]: hard later
[07:29]: within the same day it was still okay
[07:32]: heated up with a little butter it was it
[07:34]: was fine
[07:36]: um
[07:36]: that has not been my experience with it
[07:40]: other places when I've gotten it
[07:43]: particularly at like the um his
[07:46]: restaurant in
[07:48]: Ayden North Carolina's the Skylight Inn
[07:50]: they serve this cornbread
[07:53]: um
[07:54]: after it gets cold you don't want to eat
[07:55]: it
[07:58]: but ours was not as bad
[08:02]: but it's a really simple cornbread and
[08:04]: if you've never tried it you should
[08:05]: definitely try it
[08:08]: see if you like it and let me know in
[08:10]: the comments down below if you do
[08:12]: um
[08:13]: and if you've enjoyed watching me make
[08:15]: this please give me a thumbs up hit the
[08:16]: Subscribe button share this with your
[08:18]: friends if you've enjoyed it and come
[08:21]: back and watch me make something else
[08:22]: next week
[08:23]: foreign